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A.  F. Pillsbury to New England Freedmens Aid Association
Mitchelville
September 24, 1864

The Freedmen's Journal Vol 1, Issue 1
Hilton Head, S.C., Sept. 24,1864.

It is a long time since I have written you. My excuse is the debilitating heat of this climate and the overtaking cares of
my position. Neither hope nor courage is lessened; and, having resumed writing, it must be done in such a manner
as shall most benefit this freed people. I must continue to appeal to the charities of enlightened and Christian New
England.

This post is the great gateway of Freedom; and poor destitute fugitives from American oppression come in from
every possible quarter. To furnish them shelter and safety, a " city of refuge" has been built (called Mitchell), over
the marsh, about one mile" distant from Hilton Head. Here is a population of from twelve to fifteen hundred, living in
houses or "huts." Some are made of round poles chinked with oyster-shell lime ; some of slats; and some of boards,
picked up and bought, of every conceivable size, while others are "pieced out" with old canvas on the chimneys and
roof.

All are striving to make a living. Many are profitably employed by the Government; many are soldiers' families
struggling on alone. Some of them dress well, and some are very ragged. They are striving for churches and
schools. It is a fine place for teaching and other missionary' effort. A colored man named Lymas Anders has
succeeded in raising a church and school-house in one. The building is about twenty feet by forty. At present there
is no floor, but he is about putting down one, and will put in a few glass windows. If an addition of twenty feet square
could be made at the end or side for the accommodation of teachers (to live in), it would be an excellent position for
a school. Teachers cannot walk from the Head or the nearest plantation in the heat and rain.

Now, is there not some town which will take this matter in hand, build the addition, and send a teacher? The expense
of a teachers' room has been computed at about $250. With teachers residing in the building, a great opportunity
for evening-schools would be afforded. It seems to me no greater gift could be conferred on this suffering village. I
have read in the papers of the designed enlargement of colleges and other institutions in New England, and have
noted the sums to be expended: having personally visited them and Mitchell, too, I could not but compare the
necessities of the two, to wish that, for the present, till these crushed millions can stand alone, all surplus funds
might find their proper channel. If this black race is really composed of men and women; if they are to live free under
our government; if they are to be rescued from gross ignorance and consequent crime, — then the North must see
to it that they are educated.

Perhaps I should say more of Mr. Anders, who erected the house as it stands. He reads and writes, has a library
worth about $100, and is very gentlemanly and unassuming. He came from Key West, was a slave, and has served
as a soldier. He is truly worthy of encouragement. I write thus early because so much time is consumed on
preliminaries, and the field is now white for the harvest. Very respectfully,

A. F. Pillsbury
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